Aug. 20 – (Matt. 26:14-25) Most of the disciples have been with Jesus almost 3 years.  They have seen a lot and heard a lot.  How confident were they of knowing their master? Verse 22 helps us with that answer. They seemed to trust that Jesus knew all things, but they questioned their own motives and actions (“Is it I, Lord?”).  Also note, the disciples called Jesus, Lord while Judas called Him Rabbi meaning teacher.  What is the difference between Jesus being our teacher and Jesus being our Lord? Selah

Aug. 21 – (Matt. 26:26-35) “You will all fall away because of me this night.” Jesus said this to the disciples. Was He saying, they were eternally doomed? No. Jesus was helping them understand (by living this out) that once we accept Christ and ask forgiveness of our sins, God sees us righteous through Jesus’ blood. In the process of renewing our minds, we often sin (fall away) but that sin was already paid for. As we admit our sin and ask forgiveness, it renews our mind just a little more to be like Christ’s.

Aug. 22 – (Matt. 26:36-46) Gethsemane means “oil press” indicating a garden area on the Mount of Olives where olive oil was prepared.   How would you describe Jesus during His dark time in this garden (vv. 36-45)? Jesus exhorts the disciples to “watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation” (v.41).  What is the relationship between faith, prayer and fear in their upcoming test? Can you remember a time of stress that was easier because you were in a good place in fellowship with God? It really does make a difference for me whether I am “prayed up” or just living life. Selah

Aug. 23 – (Matt. 26: 47-56) Jesus’ betrayal comes at the hand of one of His own disciples (vv. 47-50).  As you look at the role of Judas in this chapter, why do you think the religious leaders used him?

 I was most impacted by verse 56: “But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” As you look at this moment, it was a very dark time, yet God allowed it so that something very glorious would come for the whole world! I am looking at my “dark times” in a very different light.  What is God allowing so that something very “glorious” will come out of it?  SELAH

Aug. 24 – (Matt. 26:57-75) Twice during His arrest and once during His interrogation, Jesus states that the Scriptures are being fulfilled (vv. 54,56,64) What impact might this have for the various groups surrounding Him (disciples, the crowd, the religious leaders)?

                Why do you think Jesus has remained silent during the first part of His trial (vv. 57-63)? It’s hard not to defend yourself when you feel someone is maligning you, isn’t it? As we consider Jesus’ reasons for this silence. We may want to do the same.

                In Jesus’ response, He says, “You will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”   Have you noticed that God is called Power? What does that say to you?

Aug. 25 – (Matt. 27:1-23) Matthew 27 records the judgment and execution of Jesus.  As Pilate and the religious leaders condemn, mock and crucify God’s Son, God himself seems strangely absent.  Yet to those who have eyes to see, His presence and power are unmistakable.

                Jesus is passive through this chapter, yet He is the center of activity. As you read through this chapter look for all the different ways that people respond to Him.  Ask yourself how you are responding initially at each point. There are still some areas in this process that the Lord needs to heal…right?

                The Lordship of Christ means that He’s always in charge.  In what ways can we deceive ourselves, like Pilate, into thinking Christ serves our purposes instead of submitting to Him and His purposes for us?

Aug. 26 – (Matt. 27:24-44) Whenever I read verses 24-26, I remember that we are covered by Jesus’ blood. Of course, Jesus’ accusers didn’t realize the deepest and eternal import of those words.  “Lord, please help me realize even more what being covered by Your blood really means.”

                Why do you think Jesus was mocked on the cross?  I am remembering all the times the scribes and Pharisees try to demean Him and failed. Now they can say whatever they want, and Jesus doesn’t put them in their place.  Do I do that to some who can’t defend themselves at the moment (ex. gossip)?